The Professional development initiative for early education professionals (German abbreviation: WiFF)[2] is Research Department K4 at the DJI. The aim of WiFF is to strengthen pre-school education as a basis for the educational system as a whole. In order to achieve this, the quality of the educational work done at daycare facilities for children needs to be enhanced. Professionalizing the system of child daycare is the key to this endeavour. Career profiles in the institutions draw on the potential of different vocational training paths, providing professionals with career development prospects. Here, a crucial factor is access to scientifically substantiated expertise and in-service professional development.

WiFF promotes these concerns, collaborating with experts from science, politics and practice to generate knowledge on current early education themes and the professional situation at child daycare facilities, such as language[3] and inclusion[4] as well as initial training and professional development[5]. WiFF makes this knowledge available free of charge in the form of publications[6].

WiFF systematically observes and analyses the professionalization of child daycare based on empirical studies, focusing in particular on inclusion[7], professional development[8] and initial training[9] at vocational school. The Barometer for Early Education Professionals[10] provides ongoing information on personnel, the labour market, the employment situation and the qualification of daycare staff. The publication first appeared in November 2014. The second edition is due for publication in 2017. Analyses continue to appear on an ongoing basis on the website[11].

WiFF promotes in-service training as the basis for a professional approach. The aim is to provide competence-based training that links professional development to initial training and practical experience, enabling daycare professionals to further their knowledge and skills, as well as the personal and social competence. WiFF publishes a series entitled Wegweiser Weiterbildung to provide stimuli in this area.

The results of its work are shared with the expert public, and WiFF also acts as an intermediary between stakeholders from the areas of science, departmental policy, initial training and professional development. As such, the initiative is actively involved in the debate on quality and professionalization in early education.

The DJI partners to the WiFF project are the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Robert Bosch Foundation. WiFF is funded by the BMBF.  

Further information:[12]


+49 89 62306-313
Deutsches Jugendinstitut
Nockherstr. 2
81541 Munich
Deputy Head of Department
Dr. Kirsten Hanssen
+49 89 62306-148

Section Profile